41 Night raid
A small chariot being pulled by a pair of horses under the moonlight was rushing throughout the forest at incredible speed while trying to dodge every possible obstacle it would appear in front of it.
The charioteer was taking some huge risks by moving so wildly but there was little he could do as right behind him, just a few steps away, a pack of monsters was following him trying to turn the poor man into their dinner.
Drenched in a cold sweat and with his heart beating a thousand miles per hour, the charioteer kept hitting his horses to move faster and faster, but as he did so the vehicle started to lose control of itself while hitting trees, rocks, and holes all around it.
He tried to look back in hopes that he was starting to get some distance from the creatures but his face became pale as their distance kept getting smaller. Hideous beasts with massive fangs and claws and drooling over the scent of the scarred man.
The sight was too terrifying to look at so he returned to keep track of the road ahead, but it was too late. Before he could react, the chariot collided with a tree and was completely destroyed. The man and a huge box that he was transporting on the back of the vehicle started to fly with the impact as the horses kept running away.
The man tried to adjust his landing, but the box which also happened to possess a massive size ended up falling on his leg and crushing his bones.
A scream of pain was released and the man found himself incapable of moving as his pursuers approached.
Five, ten, eighteen monsters walking closely towards him with eyes full of hunger. Each with different shapes and sizes. One looked like a snake attached to the body of a spider. Another looked like a bear with six arms, all of which were on fire. They all looked like combinations of different animals that were experimented on and put together at random, truly horrifying.
"I don't wanna die!!!"
The man shouted while crying his eyes out and attempting to remove the box from the top of his leg. But he sadly wasn't strong enough to perform such an act.
One of the creatures, some kind of a mix between a wolf with a scorpion tail and horns of a bull started to rush towards him and went for the bite.
The charioteer closed his eyes and hid his face with his arms while awaiting his death.
A few seconds passed and he realized that nothing happened. He opened his eyes and saw that the wolf monster was dead, impaled by a huge rock spike emerging from the ground.
A rock spike that was not there before was now stabbing the monster right across his heart. The charioteer tried to search inside his memories and he was sure that this stone formation was not there before.
Before he could finish another monster started to rush towards him, a blue eagle with an extra pair of wings was flying with immense speed but was slashed in half in midair proceeded by both halves falling to the ground.
"What's happening?? Is this a dream??"
A huge rhinoceros covered in spikes like a hedgehog was the next to attack. The beast charged forward with all it's strength but a mass of black fur leaped in front of it and smacked it in the face, making it fly the direction it came from and knocking down a few of the monsters in the process.
"What is this!!??"
The mass of black fur turned around and revealed a monster with the head of a lion and eyes drenched in red staring at him. The man was even more terrified than before.
"Are you injured...?"
The lion monster talked to the charioteer, but his body was shaking too much to answer. He started to hear a voice coming from behind him.
"There is nothing to worry, he's tamed!"
The charioteer turned his head and noticed the source of the voice. A young black-haired lady looking to be around fifteen wearing bracelets and grieves made of wood and armed with a crossbow was smiling standing alongside another red-haired girl who looked to be slightly older with an expression on her face as if she was extremely bored.
"Lilith!! Remember not to force yourself too much!"
The man was confused. Lilith? Who was Lilith? Was she talking to the black monster? Was this thing called Lilith? The man adjusted his eyes and realized that something was moving in the crowd of monsters. Some kind of silver-colored blur was teaing the creatures apart like they were nothing at immense speed.
The looked again and realized that the blur was another young lady wearing bracelets and grieves just like the girl behind him. Except this one was using a sword as a weapon and all of her equipment was made of metal.
Before he realized the lion monster and the crossbow girl joined the fight as well. The monster was obliterating the deformed beasts with his bare claws while the girl would shooting the ground and making spikes of stone emerge and stabbing everything around her.
In a matter of seconds, the three managed to completely clean all of the beasts.
Another monster started to appear from the shadows of the forest. A huge gorilla-like monster with two heads and scorpion claws on his hands. The best was massive and it was staring down at the trio as if looking at its lunch.
The crossbow girl placed her left hand towards the side of her mouth and started to scream.
"Sphinx!! Your turn!!"
Suddenly a mass of hair similar to the lion monster from before feel from above and buried the gorilla monster onto the ground. The charioteer assumed it was another lion monster, but this one was walking on all four legs, unlike the previous one who was just standing in two. It also possessed golden fur and two massive wings on it's back, and instead of a lion head, it had the face of an eagle. It was a griffin.
The previously scarred but now also confused man stared at the sight in front of him. Two lion-like beasts, one with black fur walking like a man and one with golden fur walking like an animal, and two young ladies covered in armor for their legs and arms, one of wood and one of metal. Behind them, a pile of defeated monsters that they created with the smallest of efforts.
"What is happening?? Who are you, people???"
The girl with a crossbow started to walk towards him and aimed her crossbow towards his position. The crossbow didn't have any arrows so the man assumed she was just trying to scare him, but he then noticed small glitters of energy starting to gather at the tip of her weapon. She was about to shoot him
"W- What are you doing!!?? Stop!!"
The energy was released from the crossbow and shot the charioteer. He assumed he was dead for sure this time but noticed that nothing was wrong with him. In fact, the pain he was feeling on his leg was gone.
"Daren, a little help, please?"
The monster lion approached and grabbed the massive box that was on top of the charioteer's leg. The man started to rub his lower half and noticed that his bone was in place.
"Are you feeling better now?"
"....!!?? Huh... Yes... What... What did you do?"
"I released a little bit of healing magic on you... Sorry for the scare, it's just that this kind of reaction is always priceless, hehe!"
"Huh... Sure... Thanks..."
"You should be able to safely get out of the forest now, my friends and I cleared the rest of the monsters along the way."
The rest of the monsters? There were more beasts in this forest? Is what the charioteer was thinking.
"Well, looks like you will be fine for now. Cya!"
The crossbow girl and her friends and pets vanished inside the forest.
The man was stuck in a loss of words trying to process the situation.
"What just happened...?"
He then quickly realized that he forgot something very important.
"Huh...!? The box!! They took the box!!!"
The man got up and tried to search for the group but they left with such speed that he would never be able to catch up to them.
"Get back heeeere!!!!"
Three people were sitting around a bonfire while having dinner when the individuals who helped the charioteer came out from inside the forest. One of them, a bald man with a small but muscular body, approached the group and started to talk to them.
"How did it go? Any injuries?"
The huge black lion monster who was carrying the massive box put the object in the ground and started to shrink in size. His black hair turned brow and his enormous beat body was reduced to that of a thin normal-looking teenaged man.
"Everyone is fine Auren... But it was another mistake, like usual."
"So this box is...?"
The crossbow girl looked at the lady with metal armor and asked for her assistance.
"Lilith, would you do the honors?"
Lilith drew her sword and slashed the massive box open, revealing the contents inside of it. The girl who was also sitting on the bonfire came closer.
"So what did we get this time? Another sword? A helmet? Maybe a belt?"
Evlin looked at the girl as is she was looking at a child wondering what she was getting for Christmas.
"I don't think they would waste such a huge box only for a small belt Ria..."
"Guess so... So what is it?"
The last man who was sitting on the bonfire, a young blond lad with blue eyes, came closer as well tempted by curiosity. He stared at the silver object that was revealed from inside the huge box. A tool commonly used to chop down trees but too big for any regular person to carry alone.
"So it's an ax this time..."
"A cool-looking ax thought..."
The blond man didn't seem all that impressed but Ria was looking at it with joy. Evlin noticed her excitement and made a suggestion.
"Ria, would you like to give it a try?"
"Can I?? Thanks, boss!!"
Ria tried to pick up the ax carefully thinking it would be too heavy to lift. But as she touched the object, a surge of strength started to flow throughout her body and she managed to carry it with no trouble.
"This is awesome!!"
Ria started to run around with the ax and slicing trees and boulders with little trouble as if she was cutting paper with a scissor.
The girl with red-hair came closer to Evlin.
"What's wrong Ash?"
"Is it really ok to just steal that thing? That guy was probably delivering it to someone important... Won't he be in trouble?"
"Probably... But we don't have much choice... If we plan to invade the demon kingdom we need as much blessed metal as possible..."
"I guess... I still feel sorry for him though..."
"Well... If we see him again I'll try to compensate him somehow..."
"If you say so..."
As the two girls kept watching Ria play with her new ax like a lumberjack Evlin started to rush towards her side to stop her before she could hurt herself.
Ashley went to talk with Lilith and Daren.
"So this time again huh...?"
Daren looked at her and released a defeated expression.
"This time again... Just another weapon... No sign of Marcus..."
"Is it ok to keep going like this...? The energy of the weapons keeps leading us to dead-ends..."
"I wouldn't call it dead-ends...The more weapons we retrieve the more we stop them from falling into the wrong hands... Also... Even if we end up never finding Marcus we might obtain enough metal to reach the kingdom without him..."
"So it's fine to keep going like this...? It's been three months already..."
Lilith approached the conversation.
"Unfortunately there is little we can do. Daren and I can track the source of blessed energy but we have no means of saying if they are from a weapon or from Marcus himself... All we can do is keep finding the weapons these weapons and hoping we stumble upon Marcus by chance... "
"It feels like we are going nowhere..."
"Trust me, we are not... It might be slow... But we are little by little preparing ourselves for our big mission. "
"If you say so..."
Daren decided to talk again.
"I'm frustrated as well, Ashley... But this is sadly our best approach right now... If we still can't find Marcus is because he is probably too far from us..."
"What if he is on the other side of the planet?? We will never meet him at this rate!"
"Again... Nothing we can do about it..."
"Yeah... I heard that line before..."
"Nah it's ok..."
Ashley stared at Evlin and Ria trying to fight for the silver Ax. Ria crying shouting "I'll be careful!! I promise!!!" and Evlin screaming "You are going to chop the entire forest in half at this rate!! Just give me that!!!" while playing some kind of tug war with the weapon.
"I guess there is no need to hurry..."